July 29 – 2016
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Themes

For the 2016 edition of I/O, we are focusing on The Spying Society, Virtual Worlds, Conversational Interfaces, Computational Creativity and Responsive Materials. Find out why below.

The Spying Society

The Spying Society

Let’s face it – privacy is a luxury of the past. Not even presidents or CEO’s can hide anymore. Everyone is being tracked, listened to and followed by someone, somewhere. If something is free, you are most likely the product. 

But what happens when this become the new norm? When we not only spying on people, but go to war online through cyber-hacking like the nuclear facility in Iran. Edward Snowden is the new hero, NSA the new bad guy and Anonymous are everywhere.

The spying society is here to stay, but does anybody give a shit? Did we already give up,or is it simply too abstract for anyone to act against?

Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds

Most people probably thought that if we ever found a parallel universe, it would be somewhere in outer space. Now we are building it here on earth instead.

It has been under construction for a long time, but virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality are now an actual reality. The big tech giants are releasing new platforms and headsets and the immersive impact is increasing on a daily basis.

How will virtual reality affect our current behaviour? And, most importantly, what happens if the virtual world becomes better than the real one?

Conversational Interfaces

Conversational Interfaces

How will we interfact with digital systems and computers in the future? We are seeing a trend where human-like behaviour is being replicated when we interact with computers.

Conversational interfaces open up for more than pretty drop-down menus. But it also challenge designers to design personalities that can converse with us through voice and text, and we are seeing scriptwriters being hired by tech companies to create the perfect tone of voice.

Google decided on a different, less humorous take on their smart assistent compared to Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Tay.ai ended up being a straight up asshole. No matter what the future brings, this could be a new paradigm in design thinking.

Computational Creativity

Computational Creativity

We are fascinated by how we can use technology to enable more creative work. Sure, technology has done that for ages, but now technology is not only supporting us in being more creative – computers are starting to be capable of being creative themselves.

Not only drivers and factory workers are exposed to automation. Creativity and academia are up next and we are already seeing computers creating poetry and music, writing articles, developing websites and designing logos and products.

With the rise of AI, will we see a new army of creatives without a heartbeat, challenging us in the belief that creative work doesn’t need to have a soul if it has code?

Responsive Materials

Responsive Materials

The world is changing fast at the moment, yet materials used for products or larger structures are kept static. Responsive materials mimic nature or digital structures to become interactive, circular, playful or simply more logical.

Why should materials ever be static? And if they start responding to their environments and the interactions upon them, how do we approach the design process in order to enrich materials in a world where connectivity, circularity and open sourced design are gaining more and more traction?